January 05, 2016 by Romain Bouqueau

Happy new year 2016: GPAC Licensing business trends

Dear readers,

Happy new year! May 2016 bring you peace and prosperity.

Last year we proposed you a list of projects, trends and subjects. It allowed us to be featured in Streaming Media in Jan Ozer's Encoding 2020: Experts Predict the Future of Video Encoding article. This year we'd like to focus on our actual business and make a retrospective of our activities of 2015.

Spirit of GPAC Licensing

GPAC Licensing is a cooperative for the business activities of the GPAC open-source project. How does it work? We sell licenses and give some money back to our contributors. It means that we are able to dual-license GPAC. So yes, GPAC is available for free. But industry people license GPAC for several reasons like escaping GNU licenses, taking no risk with the Apple Store conditions or because they want to support us. The cooperative also provides people (mostly GPAC users and contributors) with some contract work or jobs. In short we put in contact our community with industry people who are willing to pay for some work (code and expertise).

GPAC Licensing is just another part of the open-source project, focused on particular users. GPAC itself costs money to be developped and maintained. But the GPAC existence doesn't rely on GPAC Licensing. GPAC development costs over the last 16 years are estimated to more than 11M$ ; and we also do other things such as contributing to software outside GPAC or writing standards.

To exist, GPAC Licensing products and services need to be top quality. GPAC is free software so if we are not good, nothing prevents somebody else to compete with us. We are trying to bring the best quality to what we do. We respect our customers. We sometimes tell prospects we are not the right people for them and look for alternatives with them for free. As a consequence we have returning customers.

We try to recruit the best contributors for our missions (see also our How Google Works book review about this). Not only the best programmers but also the most versatile people. In exchange they can contribute to some projects and values they care about. And they may also work remotely and be interested in the success of the business side.

Some business figures


  • 21 new customers, 88 new contact emails received.
  • The cooperative interacted with 23 people (mostly developers and designers).
  • 50% of our revenue come from products, 50% from service.
  • 50% of time and expenses are about R&D, a lot more than the average. We attend meetings, produce specifications, and do a lot of things for fun, research, or because we believe that's the right things to do.
  • Our service offer covers a range of rare expertise. Trainings (57 days in 2015), support, expertise/consulting and ninja-missions drive the revenues up while long-term missions are more affordable. Any of our contributors get the help of the whole team which makes us very efficient in many fields.
  • Countries: people contact us worldwide. The website has several hundred visitors a day, and growing quite fast (more than doubling every year). We need a new website to reflect our contact needs more accurately.


2015 important mission themes:

  • Mobile streaming: many Android and iOS developments going on. We have clearly sumed up a lot of experience on this.
  • Image processing: pixel based processing is back, especially dealing with mobile CPU and GPU acceleration (OpenGL, OpenCL/CUDA, ...).
  • Improving performances: many customers call us when they don't know how to spare bandwidth, CPU, memory, or reduce streaming latency.
  • Reprocess a whole filebase: it seems to be a growing trend. People need to process an existing database of media content and need our help.
  • Allow distributed transcoding: people are often clueless when it comes to building their cloud platform while keeping costs low.
  • Gather the power of FFmpeg and GPAC/MP4Box. We have our Signals modular platform which drives many developments.
  • Process with MP4Box.js. The GPAC team contributes at W3C. GPAC has support for SVG and Javascript in the player. Things are definitely moving toward the Web. So are our customers and their requests. We have some training material to cover some specific issues. We also cover some WebRTC stuff.


Important themes for 2015:

  • Trainings and open-source. Businesses are more open. Knowledge becomes valuable.
  • Compliance checking. Standards become more complex and require a lot of expertise to be understood and deployed.
  • Ads. A lot of people want to use MPEG-DASH. And others want to migrate from Flash to HTML5. A lot to be done yet.
  • Subtitles. Live subtitles.
  • Hybrid delivery. HbbTV like. Using MPEG-DASH.
  • Mobile. Streaming from mobiles is still a difficult subject.
  • Cloud.
  • Codecs. HEVC and extensions for HDR. A lot of people ask us about their own codecs, or the future of codecs. We've had a lot of expertise missions to help people get the right support for containers. And also some opportunities to run benchmarks for VP9 and VP10.
  • Companion apps and screens. The GPAC team helped TEMI to be standardized. TEMI is used in HbbTV 2.0.
  • Virtual reality.

Most popular blog articles of 2015:

  1. Protecting content for Web distribution (free training webcast video)
  2. An interview with StreamRoot, the company that makes popular video events flawless (they raised 2.1M$ in December)
  3. HomerHEVC encoder and GPAC
  4. Summary of IBC’15 from the GPAC Licensing team
  5. “How Google Works” book review
  6. Introducing the Bevara preservation solution
  7. Passage from 2014 to 2015

Happy 2016 to you all :)

HomerHEVC encoder and GPAC

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